Dr. Lang Awarded DOD Ovarian Cancer Research Program Pilot Award!

Dr. Jessica Lang was recently awarded a Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program Pilot Award focused on oncogene over-expression through the intersection of copy number amplifications and super-enhancer gains in ovarian cancer. High-grade serous ovarian cancer is amongst the highest copy number altered tumors, and targeted therapies have thus been challenging to predict. In addition, many cancers, including ovarian, gain clusters of enhancers, called super-enhancers, near important oncogenes to increase their expression, and subsequently, cell growth. One example of these two features coming together in ovarian cancer is the presence of frequent focal copy number amplification at the 8q locus, which encodes MYC, an oncogene nearly always associated with super-enhancers in cancer. This project aims to functionally examine the super-enhancers in the frequently amplified chromosome 8q region using CRISPR and to identify super-enhancers in a larger cohort of ovarian tumors. This proposal is supported by CRISPR expertise of fellow CHGPM faculty member, Dr. Gaelen Hess.